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The goals of the FreeBSD Project are to provide software that may be used for any purpose and without strings attached. Many of us have a significant investment in the code (and project) and would certainly not mind a little financial compensation now and then, but we are definitely not prepared to insist on it. We believe that our first and foremost <quote>mission</quote> is to provide code to any and all comers, and for whatever purpose, so that the code gets the widest possible use and provides the widest possible benefit. This is, I believe, one of the most fundamental goals of Free Software and one that we enthusiastically support.
<primary>GNU General Public License (GPL)</primary>
<primary>GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL)</primary>
<primary>BSD Copyright</primary>
That code in our source tree which falls under the GNU General Public License (GPL) or Library General Public License (LGPL) comes with slightly more strings attached, though at least on the side of enforced access rather than the usual opposite. Due to the additional complexities that can evolve in the commercial use of GPL software we do, however, prefer software submitted under the more relaxed BSD license when it is a reasonable option to do so.
The FreeBSD Development Model
<personname> <firstname>Satoshi</firstname> <surname>Asami</surname> </personname> <contrib>Contributed by </contrib>
<primary>FreeBSD Project</primary> <secondary>development model</secondary>
The development of FreeBSD is a very open and flexible process, being literally built from the contributions of thousands of people around the world, as can be seen from our <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/contributors/article.html">list of contributors</link>. FreeBSD's development infrastructure allow these thousands of contributors to collaborate over the Internet. We are constantly on the lookout for new developers and ideas, and those interested in becoming more closely involved with the project need simply contact us at the <link xlink:href="">FreeBSD technical discussions mailing list</link>. The <link xlink:href="">FreeBSD announcements mailing list</link> is also available to those wishing to make other FreeBSD users aware of major areas of work.
Useful things to know about the FreeBSD Project and its development process, whether working independently or in close cooperation:
The SVN repositories<anchor xml:id="development-cvs-repository"/>
<primary>CVS Repository</primary>
<primary>Concurrent Versions System</primary> <see>CVS</see>
<primary>Subversion Repository</primary>
<primary>SVN</primary> <see>Subversion</see>
<_:indexterm-1/> <_:indexterm-2/> <_:indexterm-3/> <_:indexterm-4/> <_:indexterm-5/> <_:indexterm-6/> For several years, the central source tree for FreeBSD was maintained by <link xlink:href="">CVS</link> (Concurrent Versions System), a freely available source code control tool. In June 2008, the Project switched to using <link xlink:href="">SVN</link> (Subversion). The switch was deemed necessary, as the technical limitations imposed by <application>CVS</application> were becoming obvious due to the rapid expansion of the source tree and the amount of history already stored. The Documentation Project and Ports Collection repositories also moved from <application>CVS</application> to <application>SVN</application> in May 2012 and July 2012, respectively. Please refer to the <link linkend="synching">Obtaining the Source</link> section for more information on obtaining the FreeBSD <literal>src/</literal> repository and <link linkend="ports-using">Using the Ports Collection</link> for details on obtaining the FreeBSD Ports Collection.
The committers list<anchor xml:id="development-committers"/>
The <firstterm>committers</firstterm> <_:indexterm-1/> are the people who have <emphasis>write</emphasis> access to the Subversion tree, and are authorized to make modifications to the FreeBSD source (the term <quote>committer</quote> comes from <command>commit</command>, the source control command which is used to bring new changes into the repository). Anyone can submit a bug to the <link xlink:href="">Bug Database</link>. Before submitting a bug report, the FreeBSD mailing lists, IRC channels, or forums can be used to help verify that an issue is actually a bug.
The FreeBSD core team<anchor xml:id="development-core"/>
<primary>core team</primary>
The <firstterm>FreeBSD core team</firstterm> <_:indexterm-1/> would be equivalent to the board of directors if the FreeBSD Project were a company. The primary task of the core team is to make sure the project, as a whole, is in good shape and is heading in the right directions. Inviting dedicated and responsible developers to join our group of committers is one of the functions of the core team, as is the recruitment of new core team members as others move on. The current core team was elected from a pool of committer candidates in June 2020. Elections are held every 2 years.
Like most developers, most members of the core team are also volunteers when it comes to FreeBSD development and do not benefit from the project financially, so <quote>commitment</quote> should also not be misconstrued as meaning <quote>guaranteed support.</quote> The <quote>board of directors</quote> analogy above is not very accurate, and it may be more suitable to say that these are the people who gave up their lives in favor of FreeBSD against their better judgement!
Outside contributors
Last, but definitely not least, the largest group of developers are the users themselves who provide feedback and bug fixes to us on an almost constant basis. The primary way of keeping in touch with FreeBSD's more non-centralized development is to subscribe to the <link xlink:href="">FreeBSD technical discussions mailing list</link> where such things are discussed. See <xref linkend="eresources"/> for more information about the various FreeBSD mailing lists.
<citetitle><link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/contributors/article.html">The FreeBSD Contributors List</link></citetitle> <_:indexterm-1/> is a long and growing one, so why not join it by contributing something back to FreeBSD today?
Providing code is not the only way of contributing to the project; for a more complete list of things that need doing, please refer to the <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/index.html">FreeBSD Project web site</link>.
In summary, our development model is organized as a loose set of concentric circles. The centralized model is designed for the convenience of the <emphasis>users</emphasis> of FreeBSD, who are provided with an easy way of tracking one central code base, not to keep potential contributors out! Our desire is to present a stable operating system with a large set of coherent <link linkend="ports">application programs</link> that the users can easily install and use — this model works very well in accomplishing that.


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(itstool) path: para/indexterm
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books/handbook.pot, string 321